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Was Mohammed a Jihadi?

Reader comment on item: [The Search for Moderate Islam:] A Reply to Lawrence Auster

Submitted by Benjamin (United States), Jan 29, 2005 at 19:40

I have a simple question: Was Mohammed not a Jihadi, a Holy Warrior? And I mean that in the military sense, i.e. imposing Islam by the sword. The orthodox Muslims believe he was. Do the Koran and Hadiths not testify to this? Mohammed may have only conquered the Arabian peninsula, but his successors took it to much of the world, with their beloved prophet as their hero and example.

Yes, there are moderate Muslims, but they would seem to be in denial about the foundation of their religion, namely, the prophet and the scriptures. The later scholars and interpretations do not carry nearly as much weight, compared to the rather explicit scriptures. After all, the final and ultimate prophet is an awesome thing, if you believe! It must be very uncomfortable, a constant cloud hanging over their thinking.

European crusades and colonialism may have been similar, including forced conversions, but at least you can't blame that on Jesus and the gospels. And Europe did develop, through bitter experience, the crucial concept of separation of church and state, which seems anathema to any version of orthodox Islam I know of.
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